We’ve all been there. We head to Starbucks and can’t help but find happiness in seeing our name on a cup of joe that promises to wake us up and get us started for the day – “Marko Rubel, dry cappuccino!” However, your morning caffeine intake may be killing your success in four different ways.
1) Performance Level
Let’s start from the beginning – why do we drink caffeine when we first wake up? Because we feel awake, it boosts our mood, and it can improve our performance. However, a recent study from Johns Hopkins Medical School has thrown a wrench in that last belief. Improved performance as a result of caffeine doesn’t exist without caffeine withdrawal.
When your morning cup of coffee is long gone and you’re coming off caffeine, your performance drops and negatively affects your mood. Drinking caffeine is the only way to bring your mood back up to normal. This means that caffeine isn’t actually helping your performance; it’s just helping it get to a normal level until the caffeine drains again. Share this with your caffeine drinking friends by using the social buttons below!
If you drink coffee, you’re familiar with the side effects of caffeine withdrawal. Caffeine is addictive and when you’re withdrawing, you may have a headache or feel sick, tired, or restless. If you drink a significant amount on a regular basis and go a day without coffee, this can significantly impact your ability to perform well and succeed at work and in life.
But this isn’t the only way caffeine is hurting your performance and success. When you drink caffeine, you release adrenaline, which can promote irritability and anxiety. Excessive amounts of caffeine can also increase your blood pressure, heartbeat, and cause you breathe faster, depriving your brain of oxygen. When your brain lacks oxygen, you can’t think straight or make as clear-headed decisions. At work, this could cause you to make major mistakes.
Sleep is one of the most important things for your body. Your brain and muscles recharge and help you prepare for the next day. “Good” sleep isn’t just about getting eight or more hours; your brain needs to move through REM cycles.
When you drink coffee (even in the morning), the caffeine doesn’t leave your system for a full 24 hours. If you drink a cup in the morning, 25% will still be in your system in the evening; if you have a cup around noon, you’ll have 50% in your system by the time you’re ready to sleep. Any amount of caffeine in your system can make it difficult to fall asleep. And even when you do fall asleep, your REM sleep is reduced and you can’t fall into a deep sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your focus, memory, self-control and ability to process information are reduced. When you wake up, you’ll be tired and reach for a cup of coffee and cycle will start over again.
While caffeine may temporarily wake you up and help you feel alert, the negative side effects greatly outweigh that short, immediate positive effect. Remember, because caffeine is addictive and withdrawal can cause illness, it’s important to slowly taper off your intake.
Remember, you can refuse to let caffeine hurt your success! A good night’s sleep can help more than any great cup of coffee.